Gun Laws & Legislation

Unsportsmanlike Conduct

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By David Codrea, GUNS Magazine

“Sports figures are supposed to be role models, but too often they disappoint,” the editorial board for The Washington Post observed. “Not so with the National Basketball Association and its brave decision to speak out against gun violence. In charting a new course in civic responsibility, the NBA sets a standard that we hope other organizations follow.”

What “brave decision” did the NBA make? What standard have they set?

They teamed up with Everytown on a series of “public service announcements.” The Bloomberg PR machine can afford, and thus hires, the slickest propagandists and illusionists money can buy.

We’ve seen such efforts before, notably when CeaseFire USA, another well-funded anti-gun group, set up a fake gun shop in New York City to con viewers into thinking customers could be talked out of a purchase simply by presenting them with anti-gun talking points (that is, with lies). What they neglected to disclose—and what I had to find out through a Freedom of Information Law request—is that the “customers” were described on the filming permit as “actors.”

At least in this case, the Bloombergians used real NBA players, although how much of a “role model” that organization provides is questionable. There’s actually a website called “NBA Crime Library” that provides arrests (and often mugshots) for all franchises. The site’s “Hall of Shame” includes records like “Most career arrests, all-time; Most career arrests, active players; Youngest player ever arrested; Youngest player ever arrested twice; Youngest player ever arrested three times; Youngest player ever arrested four times; Youngest player ever arrested five times; Oldest player ever arrested; Greatest span between arrests; [and] Greatest span of arrests.”

Say it ain’t so, Joe.

“Now it’s time for the nation’s top sporting organization, the NFL, to stand alongside the NBA,” a CNN opinion piece declared. “Whether we’re shooting our guns into the sky or at each other, they’ve become too common in our lives.”

No doubt every reader out there can identify with both those concerns. No?

OJ Simpson aside, a cursory web search reveals articles with such titles as “Top 25 Biggest Criminals in NFL History,” and “The NFL’s Violent Crime Problem,” published in Forbes. There’s also The San Diego Union Tribune’s “NFL Arrests Database,” and my personal favorite, a Saturday Night Live skit where players are introduced along with the crimes they committed.

Still, it’s not like the NFL has been sitting on the “gun control” sidelines. In 2012, a Super Bowl ad featured Mayors Against Illegal Guns cofounders Bloomberg and former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, wearing trademark-protected Patriots and Giants jerseys, and telling the audience “We both support the Second Amendment” before shilling for more infringements. A year later, the Bloomberg Mayors (with its own share of criminal Hall of Shamers, but that’s another story) bought another Super Bowl ad, that time to go after NRA.

The NFL has a longstanding gun policy that “strongly recommends” players not own guns. It applies to all employees and players, and prohibits guns at facilities “owned, operated or being used by an NFL club (for example, training camp, dormitory, locker room, workout site, parking area, team bus, team plane, team hotel/motel); A stadium or any other venue being used for an NFL event (for example, a game, practice or promotion); [and] A facility owned or operated by the NFL or any League company.” It also prohibits guns “at any time you are performing any service for your team or the NFL.”

Despite that official hoplphobia, per a USA Today report, three out of four NFL players own guns. That’s significant “compared with 40 to 45 percent of households in the general population, according to the National Rifle Association.”

And NFL isn’t done. Police unions are protesting off-duty officers being included in the NFL stadium gun ban. And for the rest of us, too bad if it’s raining—that umbrella will have to stay in your car. Oh, and tell your wife she can’t bring her purse either, although a few items (even if highly personal) in a clear plastic bag are still being allowed in by the wanding TSA clones, there to make sure you run the gauntlet from and to where you parked.

Speaking of that, we haven’t talked any inside baseball yet, and how 2015 was the year of mandatory metal detectors. Major League Baseball imposed the rule on all 30 teams, requiring screening “either with hand-held metal detection or walk-through magnetometers,” the Associated Press reported.

“This procedure, which results from MLB’s continuing work with the Department of Homeland Security to standardize security practices across the game, will be in addition to bag checks that are now uniform throughout MLB,” a league flack explained. And no shortage of conditioned Americans, who value their bread and circuses over their right “to be secure in their persons … and effects,” lined right up and paid top dollar for the privilege of being detained and searched.

We also can’t forget the people who bring athletic events into our homes, the network announcers, the sportswriters, and the companies they work for. I’m sure every one of us tune into Sunday Night Football on NBC to hear an outraged Bob Costas lecture us at halftime on the need for more citizen disarmament. Why else would we follow New York Daily News and ESPN commentator Mike Lupica, if not to read headlines like “Spineless pols spit on the graves of Newtown victims by not pushing for assault weapons ban”? And what could endear us more to Bryant Gumbel, than hearing him proclaim “There are a few things I hate more than the NRA. I mean truly. I think they’re pigs. I think they don’t care about human life. I think they are a curse upon the American landscape”?

Curious thing though, about us NRA pigs (I’ve been a Life Member for decades), I’m not aware of any significant compilation of our crimes, even though there are millions of us. If there’s a category for “Youngest member ever arrested five times,” it’s escaped me. If the IDPA has a “Hall of Shame,” it hasn’t gotten any press. Likewise, the bad boys of the National Sporting Clays Association sure do manage to keep a low profile.

But back to Bloomberg, and his NBA “PSAs”:

“Their concern will take center stage on Christmas Day with the debut of a new public service announcement directed by Spike Lee that calls for an end to gun violence,” USA Today told its readers. Him again?

He’s the guy who just released “Chi-raq,” a movie based on the premise that what will end urban violence is for women to refuse sex until the violence ends (as opposed to until a committed, stable and responsible relationship begins). He’s the guy who, back in 1999 at the Cannes Film Festival, said NRA should be disbanded. And as for its then-president Charlton Heston…?

“Shoot him with a .44 Bulldog,” Lee advocated, insisting only after the backlash that it was meant as “a joke.”

He sounds like the perfect person to partner with Bloomberg and the NBA. Who better to convince the rest of the country that “gun violence” really needs to be blamed on the Second Amendment, and on you and me?

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